Forest Gothic with Simply Be.

Plus size alternative wear is a unicorn. We know it exists, we just have to close our eyes and wish really hard.

A large part of my wardrobe over the years has been finding pieces from mainstream stores and styling them to fit my personal aesthetic because just buying them from dedicated alternative stores isn’t an option.

No matter what my style has been over the years I’ve always had a soft spot for decadent goth; y’ know, the huge sleeves, flowing skirts, the drama. I wore this medieval gown for my 6th form ball for gods sake. How extra.

This is a bit late to the table; the tunic was actually gift from my partner for Christmas and to be honest it probably would have been sensible to wear it then. The material is heavy but comfortable with a gorgeous lace cut out detail. I love the high neckline; something as a busty fat person I’ve avoided for years because apparently a fashion “rule” is that I can’t wear them for fear of looking..fatter? Ha. Who the fuck knows anymore.

I put this with an old New Look Inspire maxi skirt and lots of big rings and a necklace as a head piece. I will say this, it’s inspired me to look into circlets as something to introduce into my outfits.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Simply Be time and time again. I’ve found pieces on there that I’ve been searching for and not found anywhere else.

On the website the model wears this with and without trousers. I don’t know if I would wear this without something on my bottom half because it sits much higher on me because of my big belly. But I would love to style it with a mini skirt to give it a bit of a 70’s vibe, which I adore.  But with the maxi skirt it has a gorgeous Gothic feel. When I saw this top I pictured myself wearing this, strolling through a gloomy wood and the incredibly talented Grace made that a reality for me.

You can find the tunic over at Simply Be here.

Photography by the ever incredible Grace Johnston.

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Lumber(ing)jack: Yours Clothing Checked Tunic Dress

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It’s pretty magical (and lucky) to have a talented photographer as a friend. The weather has been pretty grim here; warm and damp reminiscent of spring, like it’s clinging on to the last vestiges of summer. But as our days off collided the weather brightened, and while still warm, had a more welcoming chill of winter than in recent days.

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She very graciously agreed to take some photos for me and so with the good fortune of lovely weather and a dog who needed a good walk we took to Grafton Woods for our amble.

I don’t know why I don’t come here more often. I miss my home and all the easy access to amazing scenery it brings and sometimes this affords me an opportunity to ‘get away’.

 

yours clothing flannel shirt dress, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

 

I had recently purchased this tunic dress from Yours Clothing and I felt like it would be a crime not to traipse around the woods and not wear plaid. Not to be a cliche, but growing up in the 90’s I always coveted flannel but being fat and not having ready access to the internet I wasn’t able to own any. Now I get to live my grungy 90’s grrrl dream in my 30’s. Better late than never.

yours clothing flannel shirt dress, plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

 

I sized up with this because I wanted the oversized, baggy look. I was drawn to it because of the unusual colour combination. I’ve never worn rust before but it seemed to be a perfect match with my new hair colour.

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The material is so soft, it’s gorgeous. Very comfortable to wear and not too heavy without being flimsy. It has rolled up sleeves secured with a silver popper, the same detailing down the front. This is great because you can wear it as a dress or open as a shirt with a basic t-shirt (or any kind of top you want!) underneath.

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As much as I love this I did have a little disappointment with it. I washed it before wearing it and in doing so it caused one of the poppers on the arm to come away, which I will have to sew back on. Disappointing as this isn’t a cheap item.

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I wore my lovely NYX Lip Cream in Copenhagen. I’m a real fan of them and I’m hoping to start building a collection.

plus size alternative blogger, plus size blogger

 

I’m wearing:

Tunic dress: Yours Clothing sizes 16-36(I can’t find this colour combination on the website. I bought mine instore so you might have more luck there.)

Boots: Dr Martens

Leggings: Evans sizes 14-32

Lippy: NYX in Copenhagen

 

Photography courtesy of ever wonderful Grace Johnston 

http://www.gracejohnston.co.uk/

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New Year, Same Old Diet spiel: Is it time we ditched the tired tropes? Trigger warnings for diet talk.

“Every weight loss program, no matter how positively it’s packaged, whispers to you that you’re not right. You’re not good enough. You’re unacceptable and you need to be fixed.”
― Kim Brittingham, Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large

Fat acceptance and body positivity for some is a hard journey. For some it comes suddenly, for some it can be a life time of work. Discovering the body positive movement saved me. It saved me from the years of self-loathing, the decimation of my self-esteem, and helped me re-discover myself. But it also made me appreciate how complex body issues can be, especially as a fat person whose body is highly politicized and reviled by society.
Social media has provided a means for those in marginalised bodies to share and connect where mainstream media has deeply lacked. Navigating this can be a minefield, however.
Recently on my Instagram I found myself coming across many accounts using body positive tags, and importantly tags created by fat people, on weight loss posts and I’ll be honest, it got my heckles up.

It’s a hotly debated issue whether you can actively lose weight and claim to be body positive. I feel that the two are not mutually exclusive per se; you can advocate for people to be respected and loved regardless of size. But I draw the line at using fat positive tags for weight loss posts. I also resent how, when using said tags, there is then the use of health as justification for this.

Dieting, in of itself, is fatphobic. Despite scientificevidence that suggests long term weight loss is impossible for the majority it is still a practice that is actively encouraged. Why is this?
Many people explain that they are losing weight to be “healthier”. This is a fatphobic statement, suggesting that fatness equates to poor health. It is assumptive and wrong. Thinness does not equal health. You don’t need to lose weight to be “healthier”, nor do you need to lose weight to work on your fitness. There are plenty of fat people in the world who involved exercise and fitness regimes into their lifestyles. There is a difference between making healthy goals; i,e walking more, drinking more water, taking more supplements to “I want to be healthy so I will lose weight.”
Health is different for every individual and there are many factors to consider, such as mental health and chronic illness. Using the size of your body as a framework for something as complex and individual as health is ill-considered.
Personally, if people want to lose weight, that is entirely their choice. But when you are actively participating in fat positive/body positive spaces I think you need to examine your reasons why you choose to participate in diet culture, a culture that actively oppresses fat people; a culture that is used to humiliate and degrade fat people and to eradicate fatness. Consider that assumptions about health in relation to fatness don’t come from nowhere and that we can all be influenced by a fatphobic society.

There’s an increasing attitude within the BOPO/fat-posi movement that when people make criticisms of diet talk within these spaces they are somehow being “negative” or insensitive to other people’s personal journeys or lifestyle choices. Critiquing the content within our own movements is not negative, it’s necessary. We do not move and grow if we can’t examine our own contributions and the ideals we uphold. Weight loss may be a choice but it is unfair to ask these spaces to reassure people that they can stay comfortable in their “choice” to uphold fatphobic ideals.

 

It’s unfair to use fat positive media circles to promote yourself, while systematically upholding the idea that thinness is the standard for beauty and health.
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Wedded Bliss

Having been on a bit of a hiatus I’m snatching a quiet moment while visiting family up north. I guess it qualifies as my summer holiday? So, last week I attended by cousins wedding.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

After catching a gorgeous vintage bus to the church, a lovely traditional ceremony, and then a bus trip to the venue it was time for dinner, speeches and dancing (and a little bit of blubbing.)
There was a fancy dress box, a sweetie bar, and games which all made for a fantastic evening.

Ruby Thunder, plus size

A lovely summer wedding calls for lovely summer colours. This dress from Praslin has been sitting in my wardrobe since last year. I picked it up on eBay for about £30. 
The material is just gorgeous.  A lovely soft cotton that was nice and light and so was ideal for a long day to keep me cool. The dress is also fully lined. The cross over deep v neckline gave me plenty of room for my boobs. In fact a little too much room so for a little modesty in family company I had to get a couple of safety pins. 

Ruby Thunder, plus size

To complete my look I treated myself to a beautiful hair flower from Lady Luck’s Boutique. I had a real job choosing from the many, many amazing flowers but I figured a wedding called for big so I opted for the ‘Queenie’ Stargazer Lily and Cherry flower.  I also picked up a pair of their Oversized Round Tiki Bamboo earrings. I’d really struggled to find bamboo jewellery and these were the cheapest I’d found. Always a bonus!
My handbag was a real find! I discovered an amazing rockabilly website in Germany called Killer Kirsche, who stock so many handbags I’m now coveting that I’m pretty much set for the next 40 Christmas and birthdays. I picked up this adorable Kustenluder basket

Ruby Thunder, plus size

My biggest bargain were these hella cute espadrille wedges I got from eBay for £8.99 secondhand. Turns out they were Russell and Bromley who, if like me, you had no idea who they were retail for around £250+! My’shawl’ is actually an infinity scarf I picked up from Primark about a year ago for a couple of quid and voila! 

Are you attending any weddings this summer? 

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OOTD: Pink because the boys stink (the devils in the details)

The weather has been really unkind to my skin lately; I’m dry and flaky as well as breaking out, not to mention I have roots for miles. What better time to pick up a camera, right? I guess if it feels right you gotta go with it.
So you know when you buy a piece of clothing and you think “Yup. This is the thing I’m going to wear for the rest of my life.” That’s kinda how it was for me when I picked up this gorgeous Pink Fluffy Jumper from New Look Inspire.
I’d had my eye on a similar one at Simply Be, but when I saw this reduced to £12 I had to make it mine.

Mmmm. Sooo floooofy
 
It comes in a lovely eyelash material and is much more vibrant than the website photo gives it credit for. Oh man is this thing soft. Angel hair soft. Fluffy kitten soft. Gatdang soft, ok? Not to mention warm. My house, being so old, get pretty cold at times and this has kept me more than warm and snug. Did I mention it’s soft?
It’s a nice length. Not too short (although I’d kill for this in cropped) and not too long. I’m not great with the whole “boyfriend cardi” look, I just kinda look like a kid trying on their mums clothes.
 

 
I put this with a simple pair of black skinny jeans (jeans whaaaat?!) and my black Demonia maryjanes. I’ve yet to master the fine art of taking full length pictures with my feet in.
The devilish details? Well, I figured because this is so lovely and vibrant, and with the busy eyelash material, I didn’t want to over complicate it. I stuck with the pink theme and minimal accessories. Cue these beauties: Tickled Pink Flamigo drop earrings from Black Heart Creatives.

I love Black Heart Creatives because they are so fun and adorably kitsch. But also well made and good quality. It helps even more that they are an independant business with excellent customer service. I had an issue with a previous purchase and they couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly. If you haven’t gotten anything yet, stick it on your list because they are a must!

I finished this look with pink brows, pink glittery eyemake up and pink lipstick (An early one from the Kate Moss range with Rimmel). Obviously 
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Obesity: the real cost could be your life.


I had the displeasure of trawling through celebrity choreographer and Loose Women panellist Arlene Phillips twitter after she posted a hashtag she was trying to trend: #fitnotfat. The usual apologetic diatribe you’d expect from someone telling fat people to “close their mouths” and “pick up a skipping rope.” Naturally, my heckles went up and I had a few choice words.

But after I calmed down, and with cup of tea firmly in hand, I started to think about why yet another hashtag, why yet another anti-fat campaign was rearing its ugly head. January is a loathed month for most fat people as our social media news feeds begin to clog with the “New year, new me!” mantras as people’s self-loathing drips like sweat at the newly joined gym.


Not that I feel it’s necessary but I want to preface this with a couple of things.
Firstly I am not claiming to be, nor have I ever claimed to be, a medical professional. These are my opinions, my thoughts, based off my own lived experiences and my own reading. It is very easy for people to scoff and undermine me because medical professionals allegedly know better than I do. But know this: doctors are people too and therefore will carry their own biases. Fat people are more likely to receive inaccurate medical care.
Twitter hashtag: #diagnosisfat

 My doctor thought it was appropriate to address the issue of bariatric surgery when I went in to discuss HIVES.
In fact that was why the BMI chart was created in the first place: by insurance companies and was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources.
I’m not saying that weight doesn’t carry risks. But what I am saying is question just how much risk, instead of what people are telling you because you can’t really be sure how much of their concern is pourely objective and factual. As you’ll read on you’ll see these figures being thrown at us are based off very old research models.
There are a lot of scary figures out there about what obesity costs the NHS. If there’s one thing that is going to put fat people in place is the guilt of pressuring a precious, and already strained, resource like our free healthcare system. Who would take you seriously then?
But I got to thinking, sure enough I’d seen enough figures in the billions, but I’d never seen an actual breakdown of the costs. WHAT was costing £4 billion? You can’t just say “obesity”. It’s a very vague term and tells us literally nothing.
David Cameron gave a speech where he stated that obesity was costing the NHS £4 billion a year, with an expectation of it rising to £6.5 billion by 2015. This figure coming from the Department of Health and estimated by Foresight report: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-obesity-modelling-future-trends

I found a website hat stated the report was “..looking at current obesity and associated costs and sought to model future trends in obesity and its impact on health. Doing this, the study produced a series of cost estimates for obesity to the NHS, for elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) to the NHS, and the wider costs to the economy of elevated BMI. All of the projections are set at 2007 costs for easy comparison.”

Wait..hold up. There’s that horrible little word again: BMI.

HELP! IT’S THE ATTACK OF THE MEDICALLY INACCURATE HEALTH MODEL!

Immediately my eyebrow went up in a quizzical stance. If we are created a supposedly accurate report then why are we referencing a proven inaccurate model like the BMI scale?
As I continued to read the website it stated that : “The Foresight report goes into some detail on the associated conditions. For example, the note that: “The risk of developing type 2 diabetes, for instance, is some 20–80 (OK, anyone else think that is a huge jump?) times more likely for people who are obese compared with lean people. Coronary heart disease (which itself is slightly more common among obese people) is 2–3 times more common among diabetic men and five times more common among diabetic women.) Other health risks are also mentioned, such as strokes, many cancers, and osteoarthritis. “

Associated. Associated conditions. Herein lies the problem. Many people fail to realise that correlation does not equal causation. So while there is a risk factor, it is not fat exclusive diseases we are dealing with. The only thing that I can think of that is directly associated with obesity is mobility caused by a fat body, and even then this is only in extreme cases where people have become bedbound by their size.
Another thing I found interesting was that since that report was published in 2007 there has been no significant research into the economic costs of obesity, according to the National Obesity Observatory. So everything we are reading is based off an outdated model. These figures are also based on upon obesity levels where no action is taken to address the problem. So general and outdated still. Most research since has been based in the US and not from Europe.

So where does that bring us? I don’t feel any closer to understanding the real, factual impact of Obesity ™ on the NHS. Given that all of the reports used an outdated, inaccurate, and medically false mode in which to group people it gives it a crumbling foundation insofar as all diagnoses made in terms of health and diseases are based off an inaccurate guide. Simply put the bmi scale says you’re obese-you are “treated” for being obese (medication, surgery, healthcare initiatives)-NHS picks up the bill. But if the BMI is inaccurate then how much treatment is necessary?
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OOTD: Bank holiday sundae

The sun has been out! Can you believe it? It’s been a hectic few months for me. I moved house and have been up to my neck in tins of this and that, boxes, paintbrushes and all that fun stuff. But now the days are getting warmer, I’ve started planting flowers now I have a garden and I’m curious to see how this new chapter works out.

So, the boy and I took a trip out to a local animal sanctuary to sample their vegan cafe menu and this is what I wore.

I was in my local Asda recently checking out their sale racks. Typically they had nothing in my size. Then I spotted this adorable blouse, which they also had in a lovely cornflower blue. Half price at only a fiver! Size 22. Damn. But it was too cute to pass up. If I could get it over my bust I was golden. Huzzah! Success!

The blouse is really doft and light but enough to keep you comfortable if a cool breeze kicks in. Very comfortable. Its cute enough to wear out on a day out, but also comfy enough to wear while running errands.
I’ve never worn shirts like this before and I’m kicking myself for it. Shirts abandoned as I got bigger are now wardrobe contenders again. I have another two super cute shirts that I plan on giving the knot treatment so eyes peeled.

If there’s one thing I have it’s hair accessories. A fail safe gift it seems as I have an overflowing boxful. This cutie was gifted but if memory serves its from Cupcakes and Chopsticks.

Necklace comes from Pieces of the Past. A total bargain at £3, I bought it at a local fat swap. Perfect length and amazing quality. Sadly Paula has decided to close the shop so grab a bargain while you can!

Finally have an excuse to wear my Vans. I’m a sucker for tropical print. Its a close second to my first love, polkadots. These are so comfy. Wearing them without socks isn’t an issue.

Earrings are gifted.
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OOTD:Charitable soul

 

Last month I took another visit back up to the wilds of the Lake District to visit my family. 
Now if there’s one thing my home town has is charity shops and it was while I was browsing with my mum that I found this little cutie

 
Checking the label it seems to be from the TU range from Sainburys which made it even better because I’ve seen some of their knitwear going for £20.
Just a meagre £4 and it was my clutches!
 
 
£4? Are you sure?
 
 
You’ll hear many bloggers expending the virtues of trying everything on and I have to agree. This jumper dress is a 22 and I normally wear a 24/26!
 
 
The material is so soft and excellent quality. Brown is not a colour I think I’ve ever owned but I love the mix of brown and blue with an almost festive pattern. 
 
 
Lipstick is MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Laquer in Funky
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